Are the IBM VM and MVS OSes the TOP Operating systems?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the evolution and capabilities of IBM's MVS operating system, comparing it to other operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Unix. The conversation also mentions the use of virtual machines in the mainframe environment and the potential for porting MVS to PCs. However, it is noted that while MVS may have some advanced features, it is not necessarily more advanced than other operating systems and there is no "one true" operating system. The conversation also references historical influences on MVS and the ongoing innovation in OS design.
  • #1
I read an article where it is claimed that IBM MVS OS was 500 MB in size already in 1980. I also read how refined and powerful the OS has gotten over the decades, along with VM. So does this mean that the IBM OS is the rolls royce of Operating systems and will always be way ahead of all the other "toy" systems like windows, linux and unix ?

After all, their mainframe OSes (VM, MVS) have been constantly under great research for over 40 years, so how can any other OS even match theirs ? of course they are very expensive but then again so is a rolls royce. I also see how crappy the toy OSs are even when they have 500 MB RAM! I read that some programs like kylix on linux can't even load properly... It makes you wonder
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  • #2
Yipe what a troll. Was the article published in 1980 as well?
  • #3
Yes, the article was an IBM article on evolution of MVS (1981). It is quite amazing how developed their OS was and now is even more, while we simply slowly reinvented the wheel all over again through DOS windows linux etc. Moving from small chips to now full blown "mainframes on a chip". Isn't it the case to try to port MVS and VM on the PC since it is so perfect and just augment the GUI and windows stuff to it; Maybe MVS-windows?
I also read that the IBM VM machine can "host hundreds of linux operating systems" at the same time simulating hundreds of servers. Now that is something!
  • #4
MVS is certainly not a more advanced operating system than the ones you normally find on a PC. It generally is more stable, but that's precisely because it isn't a more advanced system; operating systems that are constantly being rewritten aren't going to be the most stable systems in the world.
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  • #5
I'll agree those innovations were really cool.

However not everything that is in MVS came from MVS and IBM [2]. Just to help you out, you're forgetting the really neat ones, CTSS and Multics [3]. I would argue much of MVS came from there. Also, please read "The Mythical Man-Month" [1] for a different perspective of OS/360, MVS before it was called MVS.

Before everyone gets too excited I think it is important to remember:

1) That differing operating system solve differing design problems. There is no "one true" operating system.
2) Uptime and advanced are not the same thing (I know of 2.4 kernels with uptimes of 200days+).
3) The high-level concepts may be the same in many cases but do you really think there has been no innovation in OS design since the 1980s!

I will concede that VMs originated with IBM. But this technology and parallel virtual machines (really cool as well) abound these days. It's questionable whether IBMs is the "best" (whatever that is supposed to mean).

How did I get myself pulled into this thread...

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  • #6
Still the idea of a mainframe "virtual machine" VM OS which I don't think anyone on Earth has, that can host guest Operating systems all at the same time like unix, linux and mvs and even itself for many copies is really very powerful.
  • #7
nameta9 said:
Still the idea of a mainframe "virtual machine" VM OS which I don't think anyone on Earth has, that can host guest Operating systems all at the same time like unix, linux and mvs and even itself for many copies is really very powerful.

Virtual machines are very useful. But you certainly don't need a mainframe to use them, although the more hardware you have the better; obviously the number of virtual machines you can run concurrently is going to be constrained by your hardware.

1. What is the difference between IBM VM and MVS OSes?

IBM VM (Virtual Machine) is a hypervisor-based operating system that allows multiple operating systems to run concurrently on a single mainframe computer. MVS (Multiple Virtual Storage) is an earlier operating system developed by IBM for mainframe computers. The main difference between the two is that VM allows for virtualization and multiple guest operating systems, while MVS is a single operating system.

2. Are IBM VM and MVS OSes still in use today?

Yes, IBM VM and MVS are still in use today, primarily in large enterprises and organizations that require high-performance computing and mainframe systems. However, they have been largely replaced by newer operating systems such as z/OS and z/VM.

3. What are the advantages of using IBM VM and MVS OSes?

One of the main advantages of using IBM VM and MVS OSes is their ability to handle large workloads and process a high volume of transactions quickly and efficiently. They also have a long-standing track record of reliability and stability, making them a popular choice for critical business operations.

4. Can IBM VM and MVS OSes be used on non-IBM hardware?

No, IBM VM and MVS OSes are proprietary operating systems developed by IBM specifically for their mainframe systems. They cannot be used on non-IBM hardware.

5. Are there any free versions of IBM VM and MVS OSes available?

No, IBM VM and MVS OSes are commercial operating systems that require a license to use. There are no free versions available for public use.

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